The Steele Dossier — time for a Closer Look

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James Currie / Flickr Donald Trump Rally...
James Currie / Flickr

Trump-apologists keep trotting out the Steele Dossier and Fusion GPS who commissioned it, as the reasons no one should believe the Mueller Report, that followed it.  Trump frequently calls the Dossier “a pile of garbage” — since he has no intellectual capacity to refute it on the merits.

Therefore, I thought that a look back at how well the Steele Dossier has held up over time — might be worth another look now.

Turns out, I wasn’t the only one thinking along these lines.  Here are some snippets from various Dossier ‘score cards’ …  (each article has a wealth of information if have the time to take a ‘closer look’ {with all due apologies to Seth Meyers} ) …

The Steele Dossier: A Retrospective

by Sarah Grant, Chuck Rosenberg, Lawfare.com— Dec 14, 2018,

[…]

With that in mind, we thought it would be worthwhile to look back at the dossier and to assess, to the extent possible, how the substance of Steele’s reporting holds up over time. In this effort, we considered only information in the public domain from trustworthy and official government sources, including documents released by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office in connection with the criminal cases brought against Paul Manafort, the 12 Russian intelligence officers, the Internet Research Agency trolling operation and associated entities, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos. We also considered the draft statement of offense released by author Jerome Corsi, a memorandum released by House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Ranking Member Adam Schiff related to the Carter Page FISA applications and admissions directly from certain speakers.

These materials buttress some of Steele’s reporting, both specifically and thematically. The dossier holds up well over time, and none of it, to our knowledge, has been disproven.

But much of the reporting simply remains uncorroborated, at least by the yardstick we are using. Most significantly, the dossier reports a “well-developed conspiracy of co-operation between [Trump and his associates] and the Russian leadership,” including an “intelligence exchange [that] had been running between them for at least 8 years.” There has been significant investigative reporting about long-standing connections between Trump, his associates and Kremlin-affiliated individuals, and Trump himself acknowledged that the purpose of a June 2016 meeting between his son, Donald Trump Jr. and a Kremlin-connected lawyer was to obtain “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. But there is, at present, no evidence in the official record that confirms other direct ties or their relevance to the 2016 presidential campaign.

[…]

Grading the Steele dossier 2 years later: what’s been corroborated and what’s still unclear

by Sonam Sheth, BusinessInsider — Jan. 13, 2019

[…]

Two years later, many of the dossier’s claim remain uncorroborated. But several allegations have proven, at least in part, to have held up over time.

The dossier said the “Russian regime had been behind the recent leak of embarrassing e-mail messages, emanating from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to the WikiLeaks platform.”

“The reason for using WikiLeaks was ‘plausible deniability’ and the operation had been conducted with the full knowledge and support of TRUMP and senior members of his campaign team,” the dossier said.

[…]

The dossier said that in return for Russia’s help in dumping hacked emails damaging to the Clinton campaign, the “TRUMP team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue and to raise US/NATO defence commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine, a priority for PUTIN who needed to cauterise the subject.”

[…]

The Trump team denies playing any role in the language change. A member of the Republican National Committee present at the meeting, however, confirmed to INSIDER that the change “definitely came from Trump staffers.”

Trump has also made several statements publicly and privately — both during the 2016 campaign and after becoming president — that appear to conflict with the dossier’s claim that the Trump team agreed “to raise US/NATO defence commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine, a priority for PUTIN who needed to cauterise the subject.”

Revisiting the Trump-Russia dossier: What’s right, wrong and still unclear?

by Marshall Cohen and Jeremy Herb, CNN — Jan 7, 2019

[…]
Written in the midst of the campaign, Steele’s memos contained allegations that Russia was waging a broad effort to interfere, and Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in the effort, motivated by his “fear and hatred” of Clinton. That assertion is now accepted as fact by the US intelligence community and Trump’s handpicked intelligence leaders, though Trump himself has refused to unequivocally accept the conclusion that Putin was trying to help him.
Even Putin has seemingly endorsed the conclusion that he favored Trump’s candidacy. Asked during his summit with Trump last year in Helsinki, Finland, if he wanted Trump to win the election, Putin responded: “Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the US-Russia relationship back to normal.”
[…]
But it recently became public knowledge that Trump pursued a lucrative project in Moscow deep into the 2016 campaign, and that his then-attorney Michael Cohen sought help from the Kremlin to move the project along. Cohen admitted these shocking details when he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow proposal, which never came to fruition.
Steele’s sources were right that Trump had recently explored business dealings in Russia. And his suggestion that it could be linked to the election has also been made by Mueller’s team. In court fillings, the special counsel said that the proposal “likely required” help from the Kremlin and highlighted how it overlapped with “sustained efforts” by the Russians to influence the election.

FYI:  the Steele Dossier.

[…]

Looking back, [Carter] Page says: “I was just a minor player — an unpaid volunteer.”

Steele wrote on Page 9 of the dossier that Page secretly met with the head of Russian oil and gas giant Rosneft during the summer of 2016. The two men allegedly discussed the possibility of easing sanctions that the U.S. Treasury had imposed against the Rosneft CEO and other associates of Putin. On Page 30 of the dossier, it says that Page was offered Rosneft shares if Trump lifted the sanctions.

www.spiegel.de

Guess what was among Trump’s first actions upon becoming President?

As reported on the Maddow Show last night:  Trump tried to get Sanctions against Russia lifted, through quiet back-channel means — keeping Congress unaware.  When the plot was foiled, the nascent Congress acted with usual solidarity — and promptly took that power away from the Trump, without the approval of Congress.

TRANSCRIPT: 6/17/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.

[…]

[MADDOW:] But let me just tell you one thing about the person we`ve got here tonight on deck to help us understand some of this stuff.  In June 2017, so the first summer that Trump was in office, June 1st, 2017, investigative reporter Michael Isikoff at Yahoo News reported this remarkable and still largely unheralded but really, really important story about what happened as soon as Trump got in office.  And Isikoff broke this story June 1st. NBC News was able to confirm to later on that day.

But what Isikoff figured out that day was that in the very first few days of the Trump administration, top Trump administration officials were dispatched to the State Department to immediately tell state department employees that Trump wanted to unilaterally drop U.S. sanctions against Russia.  He wanted to get rid of U.S. sanctions on Russia on his own say so alone.  And so, he dispatched top officials to the State Department his first days in office to tell State Department staffers they needed to help put together whatever plans would be necessary for him to get that done, for him to unilaterally give Putin the thing he most wanted.

Veteran State Department officials decided that this was alarming enough behavior that they sounded the alarm to other veteran and recently retired State Department officials and they set in plan a motion to let Congress know this was happen, because these new Trump administration officials were trying to do it without telling anyone.  Senior officials at the State Department, including Dan Fried, who was a top sanctions official, and Tom Malinowski who just stepped down as secretary of state, those senior officials and former officials did go ahead and tell Congress, they alerted Democratic and Republican members of Congress as to what the Trump administration was very quietly trying to do on the president`s own say so with nobody knowing that they were doing it.

And that ultimately led to this remarkable and under appreciated thing that happened just in the first few weeks, just if the first few months of the Trump administration, which is that based on those warnings from those national security professionals who were alerted to what Trump was trying to get away with secretly inside the State Department as soon as he got in office, thanks to those alerts, both houses of Congress, both the Senate and the House in hugely overwhelming and bipartisan votes passed legislation to affirm the sanctions on Russia and to block Trump from dropping them unilaterally without anybody else`s say so.

I say it was an overwhelming vote.  It was 98-2 in the Senate.  It was 419-3 in the House.  Trump did not want to sign that law.  He wanted to get rid of the sanctions on Russia, right?

But with majorities that overwhelming, well over veto-proof majorities, right?  He had no choice.  And so, he squawked and he said he didn`t want to do it.  He issued a signing statement saying he disagreed with it, but he had to sign it.

And that`s how these sanctions on Russia got upheld, so Trump couldn`t get rid of them himself.  And that was the first reported instance we had of all sorts of people inside the U.S. government, Republicans and Democrats both, conservatives, liberals, career non-ideological, nonpartisan people, all of them coming together to the belief that this president could not be trusted to handle a national security matter like that on his own say so. Not specifically when it comes to Russia.

We now know that started the first few days he was in office.  It`s the whole reason there are still sanctions on Russia today.  And now, this week we learned that this far into the Trump administration it`s still happening.

Un-trumpen-believable!

Among Trump’s first official actions was to try to cancel the Sanctions against Russia, without letting Congress know what he was up to.

If that doesn’t help to confirm the gist of the Steele Dossier, I’m not sure what else would?

Maybe, some “video tapes” being played in Time’s Square next New Year’s Eve, might confirm to the other 43% of Americans, how big a “pile of garbage” the current lying, law-breaking, lewd and crude Trump Administration really is.

No thanks to his ‘garbage handlers’ that he keeps tightly leashed around him, in their Loyalty club.

Transparent, they are not.  Patriots and paragons of integrity, are attributes they have forever-surrendered to the King of Crass, as well.

— — —

What do you call an Intelligence report that’s mostly true, but near universally trashed due to Trump’s rhetoric?

It’s just another “fake win” for the Trumpitopia.

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.

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Trump_Lower_Trash-Garbage.gif
Yep, that’s where it belongs — in the trash heap of History.
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2 Comments on "The Steele Dossier — time for a Closer Look"

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Sick of the Con
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Sick of the Con
There needs to be clarification that hiring an american company that subcontracts with a former brit spy is not the same as russia steeling emails and releasing them through wikileaks. Neither is your campaign surfing help from russia and other hostile countries to help you win. The comparison with the dossier and journalistic stories and the mueller report need to be compared ,side by side along with a score card for the dossier. Compare that score to other cia dossiers.i think it will fair quite well. On conspiracy, Mueller did not delve deep enough to investigate since he was acting… Read more »
David Bishop
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David Bishop

Impeachment investigations NOW! Pelosi and Nadler replaced NOW!